App: BSPlayer v1.29.194
Developer: BSPlayer Media
Category: Video / Audio
BSPlayer is a robust media player for Android devices that supports a myriad of video and audio formats in a highly intuitive and streamlined package. Actively developed for many years on the Windows platform, BSPlayer Pro has been in stiff competition with the superb open source Media Player Classic; both offering a multitude of features for playing media on the computer. As BSPlayer Pro has accumulated over seven million registered retail users for the PC platform alone, it has become a staple program for watching high definition movies, as well as offering full audio format support for added functionality. Porting BSPlayer to Android was a logical solution since today's device hardware is aptly capable of handling HD video and audio, even on most modern phones. Most factory default solutions that ship with your devices like Google's Play Movies, YouTube or other proprietary players are limited in functionality and often exist solely as front end stores to purchase content. Being rarely satisfied with the mediocre here at Android Reviews, we'll fire up this media powerhouse for a closer look while we wait for the popcorn to arrive.
Starting BSPlayer prompts you with a simple screen that offers four options to view content by selecting Library, LAN, Browse or open a URL link to directly play content via Internet. All local media content, both audio and video, will list under Library, while the LAN option will grant access to your SMB shares available on the network. The LAN option works wonders for home wireless networks and is easy to navigate as you can view thumbnail images through directory tree listings, while keeping these large files off the device. The Library option will list both movies and music in folders with your choice of thumbnails or text with several options available, including creating custom playlists. Looking at the default list of supported formats within the settings, BSPlayer covers nearly everything you throw at it, though all media will be listed alphabetically in the Library mixed together by default. Oddly, support for AC3 audio surround sound and H.265 video are omitted, and perhaps some other handy formats, but it covers a wide array of popular formats that most will find sufficient. With large local content collections, enabling a single folder for viewing certain types at a time would be more cohesive, ultimately. Pasting a URL to a YouTube video directly, or whatever source you have, will start the player with streaming capability in effect. With multiple video players installed, I always select BSPlayer for YouTube when prompted as it's so much faster and more enjoyable to use. With so many options in the settings menu, BSPlayer won't intimidate with a bevy of confusing elements in the interface as it's kept streamlined and clean to keep things intuitive and simple.
Clicking on a video or audio file will launch the content directly with controls revealed for the default of four seconds, then hide for full screen viewing of either a movie or album cover art. The controls and options can be brought up by a simple tap on the screen, keeping them out of the way for playback and maximized viewing. Configurable gesture support is offered to adjust volume, brightness and seeking, as well as pinch zooming to zero in on those fine details. This is very convenient for reading small text in videos that is normally difficult to read, or to simply view that amazing action sequence close up, even in slow motion. Full options for subtitles are included for size, color, language preference and the ability to download subtitles as the movie launches, though lyrics for music are not in the mix. Support for Bluetooth headphones and keyboards, along with Chromecast options can provide a handy wireless system with remote functionality, as well. An interesting feature is holding down the back button to allow video or music playback in a floating window, as pictured in the screenshot below. This is great for watching tutorial videos while multitasking, for example. With this feature enabled, it is now possible to text your friends while watching that Smurfs Gone Wild video without missing a single scene. Listening to audio while switching out of BSPlayer will automatically display basic external controls in notifications for convenience. Quite a few of these features were requested by users on Google Play and were eventually implemented, which shows attentive support and desire to become the standard.
Viewing movies in BSPlayer is a fantastic and seamless experience; whether you constantly fiddle with the controls or simply leave it alone in immersive mode. As there is hardware accelerated support that spans ARM5, ARM6 and ARM7 generations, playback is smooth even on modest devices. There are some content streaming players that can inherently heat up your device like an oven in less than twenty minutes of viewing a simple video. BSPlayer has notably kept my tablet much cooler during viewing to where I barely notice heat dissipation, thanks in part to proper hardware acceleration methods. Automatically downloading subtitles before a movie starts playing is a great touch; variable playback speeds and customization of audio offsets can also be used for those tricky media files that don't sync properly. Audio pre-amplification volume boost will help with media that suffers from low dynamic range and poor audio levels, and you can have multiple audio streams and subtitles at a time. BSPlayer will even play media from uncompressed RAR files, which will allow you to contain and hide audio and video from the device system. Handy options in the UI can lock the screen position or go to portrait and landscape modes in an instant and a simple tab will pause the content instantly. Not to be forgotten in the least, there are dark and light interface options, though mostly for the file browser section as the main viewing area remains black with light blue and transparent colors. There are so many useful options in settings to go through when you are ready to discover the power under the hood, but the player works intuitively well straight from the installation without steep technical knowledge.
Featuring lyrics for music in the same fashion that subtitles for movies work would be great, along with FTP and UPNP capability, and maybe a toggle option to sort mixed media more efficiently. Reading several comments on Google Play, a few users have some complaints regarding various difficulties with Chromecast, though I am unable to test this as I lack the hardware required. However, these options could become available over time, and any issues will probably be worked out in the future as updates are periodical and steady. As I primarily use the aforementioned Media Player Classic for Windows because I highly support open source projects, BSPlayer is quite indispensable for the Android platform. After over a period of two years using this fantastic media player, it has become one of the first apps installed on a new device to properly and comfortably view video content with ease. The price point isn't the most reasonable in the world, but there is so much offered at your disposal to fully enjoy content, especially streaming from your wireless home network to your devices. Simply typing in your WLAN credentials with the computer set up in advance, all your media will be listed and available at a mere click. For such a technically complex feat, BSPlayer acts as an efficient box office manager to serve your content when you want it, and does it in complete style.
- A streamlined powerhouse media player.
- Customized gestures compliment the clean UI.
- Excellent performance with hardware acceleration.
- Seamless audio and video steaming through SMB protocol.
- Supports a wide array of popular audio and video formats.
- No current support for UPNP or FTP streaming.
- No toggled sorting for mixed media in the Library.
- Not all media formats are supported such as AC3 and H.265.
- Support for downloading and displaying lyrics would be great.
Device/OS used: Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note 3, Nexus 7 2012 & 2013, Nexus 10 / KitKat v4.4.2, KitKat v4.4.4, Lollipop v5.1.1
Purchase at Google Play
Mobilism: BSPlayer v1.29.194 [Paid]